Posts Categorised: Marketing
What to do with all those business statements.
In any organization how you communicate what your business is all about is vital. Your employees and leadership must all be heading the same direction. There must be a cohesive understand of what you do as well as why you do it.
You could say, “we build widgets” or “we build the world’s best widgets” or “we build the most essential widgets the world needs to survive.” You can readily see there is a big difference between the ways each of those short sentences communicate.
Personally, I think developing a mission, vision and values statement are important in order for the owners and leaders of the organization to get clarity about where the business is, where it wants to go and how it’s going to get there.
Here’s a short description of each:
- Missions Statement is what we do in the present that will get us to the future.
- Visison statement is what future we want to accomplish through our present action
- Values statement is how we will behave now in order to get the desired future.
Let’s look at a the Coca-cola company and how they communicate each of these:
- To refresh the world…
- To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
- To create value and make a difference.
- People: Be a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.
- Portfolio: Bring to the world a portfolio of quality beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people’s desires and needs.
- Partners: Nurture a winning network of customers and suppliers, together we create mutual, enduring value.
- Planet: Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.
- Profit: Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.
- Productivity: Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization.
- Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
- Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
- Integrity: Be real
- Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me
- Passion: Committed in heart and mind
- Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
- Quality: What we do, we do well
Let me clarify something quickly. There is a difference between ‘company values,’ and a ‘value statement.’ A value statement or purpose statement is what you do for your customer. It is in terms directed at the consumer. Values are a set of core traits that are the foundation to the internal culture of your business. Many companies call these ‘core values.’ For this post, we will talk about the core values. *(see the previous article to learn more about a purpose statement)
Coca-cola has a few more statements which are not necessary, but they felt they needed clarification. (If you want to see all of their statements: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/our-company/mission-vision-values/)
For most companies we can stick to the three basics. I want to walk thru how you can implement a core set of belief statements for your business.
- What do we do?
- What makes us different?
- What actions in the present get us to the future?
- Focus on ‘how’ you do your business.
- Where are we going?
- What will our business accomplish in 10 years?
- What impact will we have on our community, industry or the world?
- Focus on ‘where’ you are going in your business.
Values Statement (Core Values)
- How will we behave as a business?
- What attributes will be our moral compass?
- What character traits do we value in our employees and leadership?
- Focus on ‘culture’ within your business.
I wanted to share a bunch of examples, but I don’t want you to take someone else’s ideas and creating them for your business. It is important that you come up with a set of statement that works for your business. You should get a strong set of mission, vision and values before you research what other companies say. Then, your research should validate what you have discovered in your own business.
Remember, you are creating a cultural identity with these statement. You are communicating what is important to your company. It is best to put them into your words in your style. If your culture is fun, have fun with it. If you have a more structured business, make it structured, but don’t forget to inspire.
For more info
Creating a compelling Value Proposition, or Value Statement, is crucial to reaching your ideal customer.
A value statement should be front and center of your webpage or blog. It should be printed on every piece of printed materials that you have. The value statement becomes the hub on which you build your entire marketing plan.
Let me give you an example. When I come to your web site, I should know if ‘this site is for me.’ A good value proposition draws me in and connects me to your brand. I should know what problem you solve and the words should talk to me as your ideal prospective customer.
Who is your customer?
You can’t sell to everyone or you won’t sell to anyone! This is a blunt statement, but I want to be up front about understanding your customer. You must understand the ‘ideal’ customer for your business. Who is the single person who is most likely to buy from your business?
- Are they more likely a male or female?
- Are they likely to live in a specific location?
- Are they likely to live in a house, apartment, condo or townhome?
- What is the income they most likely earn?
- What kind of activities do they participate?
- What kind of magazines do they read?
I could ask a bunch more questions, but hopefully you get the point. You should have a picture in your mind of your ideal customer. It should be singular and all of your marketing should talk to that one person. Yes, you will gain customers that are not that person, but by talking to one person you are likely to get more customers than trying to talk to everyone.
I know it sound contrarian: Focus on one person and get more customers. Yet, that is exactly how marketing works. The more you can talk to that one person, the more ‘one persons’ find your business.
What do they want?
Once you understand your customer, you must understand what they want. What problem do they want to solve and how can you help them solve it? I heard it best stated, “What keeps them up at night?”
If you can figure out what keeps your customers up a night and you can solve that problem, you will have a successful business.
- It may be an urgent need: car breaks down.
- It may be an unavoidable need: taxes are due every year.
- It may be an undesirable need: I have a squirrel in my attic.
If you can understand the needs of your ideal customer, you can talk to them in their words. It is not hard to find out what your customer needs and wants, but you must be willing to do the research. Look online in forums, Amazon, blogs, Facebook, etc.. and you will find a lot of information to help. Or, you can just ask them. Use surveys, questionnaires or talk to them in person. It is worth your time to understand the perceived needs of your customers.
How do you offer it differently?
We have an understanding of our customers and an understanding of what they need and want. Now, we have to communicate that we can help in a unique way. You may have heard of a USP, unique selling point. It is simply what you do differently than other companies.
I want to take a moment to help you get a grasp on this one. It is not how you are different, but what you do differently. You may have been in business “for over 20 years,” but time does not make you different. What makes you different is that you show up “on time, every time, guaranteed!”
Your selling point must take into consideration the customer and what they want. You must also take into consideration what your competition does. If they have a 24 hour service call, can you have a 12 hour service call? What would that mean to your customer and to the way you run your business?
The question you are trying to answer for your customer is, “Why should I buy this from you?”
Why should someone buy from you instead of all the other companies that do the same thing you do? People want solutions that are faster, automatic, safer, more thorough, etc. If you know your ideal customer, you know what they value and you can put together your value statement in a way that talks directly to them.
Putting it all together.
I have seen many webpages who really miss this point. I have a picture of a truck on that says “ecological solutions.” I have no idea what that company does or why I should call them. Ecological solutions could mean anything from planting trees to organic products to global warming. Their value statement does not help me want to do business with them.
A value proposition tells what you do, who you do it for and why they should buy from you.
We do THIS for THESE PEOPLE with THESE UNIQUE RESULTS.
I don’t want you to get too distracted by this, but make sure you speak the words that relate to your customers. Pay attention to the words you use. Do you offer a ‘safer’ product or a ‘more secure’ product? Those words communicate much differently to different people.
Here are few examples:
- Skillshare: Learning for Creators – Enroll in online classes to unlock your creativity.
- Campaign Monitor: Email marketing software for designers and their clients.
- Meeting Burner: Host your next webinar or meeting for up to ten people absolutely free.
Each of these statements tell you who they are marketing to, what they offer and what makes them different. Even the Meeting Burner tell us indirectly. You are a business who meets with multiple people.
Creating the statement.
Now it’s your turn. Create a value statement for your business. You may have to do some digging about your ideal customer, but don’t assume you know who it is unless you have good data to back it up. Then, firm up what problem you solve for that person and how you solve that problem better than anyone else.
You should be able to have all of that information in one sentence. Show it to a few customers and employees and ask them what they understand it to mean. If it works, run with it. It there is any confusion, work out the confusion to come up with a concise statement. When you have a clear statement post it on your webpage, front and center.
Just to let you know I practice what I preach, my business page is Digital Success Advantage. Right at the top of the page are these exact words: “We help small businesses leverage technology for business growth.” That is exactly what I love doing, helping small businesses learn the power of the digital age and how that technology can grow their business.
Feel free to share your values statement below this post. (BONUS: if you drop it into my contact form, I will give you a quick evaluation of your statement.)
Here are some other helpful training:
How Do You Clone Money In Your Business?
I was recently talking to a client about her business. She is in the service industry and needed to make more money. I told her that her time is limited and if she could duplicate herself she could help more of her clients.
Since cloning has not been developed yet, I suggested she create videos and worksheets to guide her clients through her main process. Then, offer to help them on an individual basis if they needed further instruction.
Creating a product like this does two things:
- It prepares her clients to work with her.
- It gets her clients familiar with her.
Imagine if all your customers and clients came to you prepared to do business with you. You would not need to sell them on what you do because they would already have the ground work. They have taken your ‘course’ and prepared themselves to do business with you.
This may sound like ‘pie in the sky’ thinking, but let’s get into real life for a moment. One of my clients is a door company. They spend lots of time on the phone educating their clients how door styles, sizes, and terminology. I suggested they create a worksheet or video that talks about the common questions they answer for their customers. This would free them up to answer questions after the customer had pre-qualified themselves.
When you create valuable information for your customers, you become their trusted authority. That is why we talked so much about blogging and creating products. Doing these things gives modern day consumers the information they are searching for and helps them get to know you.
Honestly, business is built on relationships. If you can find a way to really build a relationship with a customer, you will have a customer for life. They will trust you and refer you to all of their friends.
You can do that with checklists, worksheets, videos, audios, images . . . the sky is the limit. Simply figure out what your customer relates to and relate to them. That is how you duplicate yourself and put your business on autopilot.
Here are some other helpful articles:
- Creating Profitable Digital Products
- How to use an Autoresponder
- Tips on Writing a Great Business Blog
If you need help brainstorming an idea for your product or coming up with a plan of action, use my contact page to get in touch with me about coaching.
The Shiney Object Syndrome
I was infected this week with the Shiney Object Syndrome. I bought a product that looked really good. It was definitely something that I could use. I had actually talked about creating something that this product did with ease. I thought it was a no –brainer.
Then, I began to learn this software. Each step seemed to take longer. Then, I had to buy additional products to ‘get the most’ out of this software. By the third additional software and an hour into learning, I thought about my 3-3-30 inoculation from the syndrome.
With this simple formula in my head, I immediately deleted the product and got a refund.
Watch the attached video for the formula to break the Shiney Object Syndrome it’s as simple as 3 – 3 – 30!
Shiney Object Formula Inoculation (The Quick check)
Remember: 3 – 3- 30
- 3 – Can you learn how to implement it in less than 3 hours? If not, no deal.
- 3 – Can you get a 3X return on your investment? If not, not deal.
- 30 – Can you get your increase within 30 days? If not, no deal.
This is a quick evaluation tool.
For More complicated Shiney Objects Follow this Process:
- What is the ‘actual’ price of the initial sale? (Realize that there are probably more additions)
- What is it promising to do for your business? (One sentence, no more)
- What WILL you do this week if you get this software/tool/training?
- What will be the profit to your business on that one action?
- If your profit is less than the cost of the action, don’t do it.
- If your profit is more than the action continue.
- Do I actually need this product/service for my company or do I just like the idea of it? If Yes, continue.
- You are basing your decision on their promises. Realistically, consider that you will probably get about 25% of the promised returns. Considering this fact, is your profit still less than the cost of the item?
If yes, continue:
- Will you use this item more than 10 times and continue to get desired results?
- If yes, buy it. It sounds good.
- If not, don’t worry. You can probably do the same thing yourself without adding to your collection of non-used tools.
- Can you hire someone to do the job for you cheaper than the purchase?
- If so, don’t bother.
- If not, continue.
- Is there an alternative to this product/service that is cheaper? (Pay special attention to upgrade costs and monthly subscriptions.)
- If so, don’t bother.
- If not, continue.
- Can I afford it? It is easy to go into debt for something that you think will help. Again, refer back to the 3-3-30 rule. If you borrow, can you get a enough return on your money in 30 days. If not, wait till you have enough money and use that as an incentive. If you can afford it and everything looks legit…I say go for it. You have put in your due diligence so you can buy with confidence.
If you need help growing your business, contact me. I love to help business owners create an action plan and get to success quicker. I have gone through countless training, read bunches of books, studied under some amazing people and I have been specifically trained to help entrepreneurs grow by growing over six businesses. I continue to be an entrepreneur developing products, resources and services to help other entrepreneurs. I do all of this because when I got started, I didn’t have anyone there for me. I want to be there for you.
If you want to be a success, you need to find a mentor to follow. You don’t have to choose me, but choose someone. Choose someone who is where you want to be and follow them doggedly.
You find a mentor in many ways depending on where you are in your business and your personal development:
- Read a book and take action (free)
- Find a video series on Youtube (free)
- Buy a video or training course ($10-$995)
- Join a group mentoring like a closed group on Facebook ($49+/- month)
- Join a local mastermind group ($99+/- month)
- Get an individual coach for specific goals (worth it!)
Remember all business is business. There are basic success and growth principles that apply to any business in any market. You just need to take action on what you learn and know how you need to follow.
Again, if I can help in any way, get in touch with me. Don’t wait till you have it all figured out, we have all been down that road. It is a slow painful way to grow. Let someone who knows business guide you to take the steps to get your business growing and get to success quicker.
I would love to help you develop into the inspiring entrepreneur you want to be. Let’s talk soon.